In order to meet the demand for less-polluting vehicles, Volkswagen is aiming to manufacture electric cars in China beginning 2013, Volkswagen China CEO and President Karl-Thomas Neumann revealed. He further stated that the company could develop two EV models with venture partners in China. These models could have a range of 100 kilometers (62 miles) to 200 kilometers.
Currently, the company manufactures SUVs and cars in China with its partnerships with China FAW Group Corp. and SAIC Motor Corp.
The two partnerships have created a prototype EV each. Test fleets will be introduced next year, Neumann disclosed. The European and Chinese governments are getting "more realistic" that the EVs could replace the internal-combustion engines quickly, he added.
Moreover, Neumann said that the company is targeting 10,000 EVs in China by 2018, adding that the rules around the electric vehicle are "not clear."
Neumann hopes to get clear guidance from the government soon. The company is relying on China to help it outperform Toyota Motor Corp. and General Motors Co. as the largest carmaker in the world by 2018.
In 2010, VW group sold 7.14 million units -- third in rank only from Toyota with 8.42 million and GM with 8.39 million. Through 2015, VW is shelling out 10.6 billion euros or $14 billion to expand in the nation, which it first entered 30 years ago, as part of an initiative to raise sales in emerging markets. [source: BusinessWeek]